Schools closed, flights canceled as winter storm hits Chicago, Detroit


Most of the Chicago area and northwest IN remain under a Winter Storm Warning through Friday evening, which also will impact Friday morning rush hour traffic. Chicago was forecast to receive as much as 14 inches (35 centimeters) of snow with Detroit expecting up to 9 inches (23 centimeters). The Chicago area absorbed six inches of snow with another four inches in Milwaukee and up to two inches in Detroit, the broadcaster said.

"Periods of heavy snow will arrive into Friday across the southern Great Lakes", said meteorologist Jonathan Belles. "Now, Chicago is used to this".

Snow is piling up from a winter storm that's moving across the across the upper Midwest, snarling traffic and closing some freeways. "And it is not just one night, it is going to go through the weekend".

However additional accumulating snow will likely follow up with a wide band of snow expected to surge back over our area from the southwest Friday night into Saturday morning, adding perhaps several inches and causing another round of snow-covered roads and slow/dangerous travel conditions.

Chicago Public Schools and hundreds of other schools in the region all closed Friday because of the storm, and Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport announced that cancelation of hundreds of flights, per the Tribune.

The Weather Channel is predicting that as the storm continues east over the weekend, western, central and upstate NY into northern New England will receive less than 6 inches, but a few spots east of lakes Erie and Ontario may see more. Snow across southern and central MI ranged from 7 inches on the western side of the state to more than 2 inches so far in the Detroit area.

A winter storm warning now is set to expire between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. for most of the Chicago area, earlier than when it first went into effect Thursday. "I saw the plows come by, so I figured I'd get a jump on it so I wouldn't have to shovel it when it's 4 feet high". More than 200 flights were also canceled Friday morning at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The expectation of up to 12 inches around Chicago prompted officials to close the city's public schools to about 390,000 students Friday. Classes were also cancelled in the city's suburbs.

The City of Chicago has deployed its full fleet of 280 snowplows and salt spreaders and will focus on clearing Lake Shore Drive and arterial streets before plowing residential streets, according to a statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.